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Sumiko Oshima
For Sumiko Oshima's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
May 13, 2001
The garden of good and herbal
Herbs have been used in Japan for hundreds of years, for both culinary and medicinal purposes, and a fun way to learn more about the rich heritage of Japanese folk remedies is to visit a herb garden.
COMMUNITY
May 13, 2001
Taking a leaf out of a traditional book
Eastern herbal remedies and traditional Chinese medicines are now more widely used than at any time in their long history. Thousands of people in the West, frustrated by perceived failures in Western medicine, or worried about the dangers of artificial drugs, are turning to herbal alternatives.
COMMUNITY
May 6, 2001
Better safe than sorry
With many people worried about becoming the country's next crime statistic, the demand for advanced home- and personal-security products is on the rise.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Apr 29, 2001
Pets in the big city
After a long, grueling day at the office, there's nothing better than returning home to a warm welcome. For some that means a freshly cooked meal, for others, a warm hug. For many, though, it's the excited bark of a dog and the affectionate nuzzle of a cat.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Apr 29, 2001
Seeing guide dogs through society's eyes
Chap can't help sniffing around the camera, while Ace and Yayoi are eager to play.
COMMUNITY
Apr 15, 2001
Where the reading's free and easy
As England was once called a nation of shopkeepers, Japan could be called a nation of readers.
COMMUNITY
Apr 15, 2001
Put your cafe surfing on someone else's tab
Racking up huge phone bills accessing the Internet from home? Eagle-eyed boss preventing you from writing e-mail at work?
COMMUNITY
Apr 8, 2001
How to escape the urban grind
After a grueling week at the office, we naturally look forward to getting outand about on the weekend. For diversions, Japan's major cities have it all, from art exhibitions and the latest movies to shopping and sporting events. Problem is, who wants to fight thesame workday-commute crowds at museums, theaters and other venues?
LIFE / Travel
Apr 8, 2001
How to find your climbing inner child
"We enjoyed climbing trees as kids, but it's difficult to keep on doing that as an adult. Rock climbing is good because you can become a kid again and climb as much as you like," says Makoto Kitayama, president of the Japan Freeclimbing Association.
LIFE / Food & Drink
Apr 1, 2001
Takoyaki wars shift to Tokyo
There was a time when takoyaki (octopus dumplings) were dismissed by Tokyoites as festival fare or a snack for kids. In recent years, though, takoyaki has found fans outside its birthplace of Osaka and joined the ranks of other Kansai-Kanto crossovers such as okonomiyaki and Yoshimoto-style comedy (think Downtown or London Boots).
LIFE / Food & Drink
Apr 1, 2001
The word on the street is croquettes are hot
In Harajuku, the holy land of Tokyo's young people, the "king of street cuisine" has long been the crepe. Rolled around a filling of whipped cream, fruits, chocolate and/or other sweets, the thin pancake is a favorite among suburban girls who flock to the area to shop and be seen among the trendsetting crowds.
LIFE / Digital
Feb 22, 2001
Internet auctions boom
Kazutoshi Kitazawa, a 37-year-old university professor, has been bidding and selling in online auctions for two years. When he feels like upgrading his computer, he browses through Yahoo! Japan's auction Web site to buy memory cards and other computer components at bargain prices. When he decides the time has come to replace his PC with a new model, Kitazawa sells the old one online.
COMMUNITY
Feb 19, 2001
Beneath the sheen lurk the blues
Long life, in itself, is not enough. What is important is living a healthy life. That was the message sent by the World Health Organization last year when it announced a new method of reviewing life expectancy.
COMMUNITY
Jan 15, 2001
New miracles from the 'first miracle drug'
Aspirin for people in Western countries is something more than Seirogan, the most popular household digestive medicine in Japan.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Dec 28, 2000
Down's diagnoses defied
Hope was not in the prognosis that doctors gave to Chie Myo, after examining her first son, Shunsuke, at the age of 3 months. They diagnosed the baby as having been born with Mongolism, a derogatory term previously used for Down syndrome, and predicted that he would not live long, saying a mere cold could take his life. Even if he survived, they said, he would suffer severe mental retardation and never live a "normal" life.
COMMUNITY
Dec 13, 2000
Stopping the biological clock
As people develop wrinkles and spots on their skin with age, invisible and subtle changes also occur deep in their bodies. Researchers now agree that the aging of women's eggs is an important factor in many reproductive problems, including infertility, miscarriage and birth defects.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Nov 9, 2000
Smoke gets in your eyes
A scar on her arm reminds Kyoko Saito (not her real name) of an unpleasant experience she had a month ago. The Tokyo office worker was hurrying home one night after working three hours overtime, when she overtook three men chatting as they sauntered along the crowded sidewalk to the nearby station.
COMMUNITY
Nov 8, 2000
More than just a nice cuppa tea
Having succeeded in convincing consumers of the health benefits of green tea, Japanese tea manufacturers are now aiming to expand into a new market: the production of pharmaceuticals containing green-tea extracts for use in the prevention of cancer.
COMMUNITY
Oct 12, 2000
Till bedtime do us part
At midnight every night, Shoko Ohara, a 39-year-old construction company employee, drives to the station to pick up her hard-working husband Takeshi, an engineer. The two chat during the 10-minute ride to their suburban home, and while Takeshi takes a bath, Shoko warms up his dinner in the kitchen. She then goes upstairs to their roomy bedroom and falls asleep in a comfortable double bed -- where she spends the night alone.
Japan Times
COMMUNITY
Sep 19, 2000
Urban life's high cost in health
The bright lights of the city are drawing a record number of people in search of careers and excitement. But city life comes at a price. Recent studies have found that Japan's city dwellers are jeopardizing their lives and their offspring.

Longform

Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?